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Libya calls to improve ties

adhafi has been in power for 32 years since the Libyan revolution on Sep 1, 1969
Gadhafi has been in power for 32 years since the Libyan revolution on Sep 1, 1969  

ROME, Italy -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has appealed to government officials in Rome for better ties between Tripoli and the U.S., UK and Europe.

Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero said the Libyan leader and his Foreign Secretary Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam wanted a "breakthrough" in relations with Washington, London and Europe.

U.N. sanctions were imposed on Tripoli after the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland in which 270 people died.

Ruggiero, quoted by the Italian media, said Gadhafi's co-operation "would certainly lend prestige to Libya's international status," and added Rome would "certainly support the development of a new opening by Libya towards the U.S., Great Britain and the EU"

An Italian foreign ministry official confirmed the news reports.

The Italian news agency AGI quoted Chalgam as saying: "Being enemies does not help anyone. We are a small country that is still developing. We want peace and cooperative relations with everyone, the U.S. included."

U.N. sanctions on Libya were suspended in 1999 when Tripoli handed over the two men suspected of the Lockerbie bombing. One man was found guilty of planting the bomb and the other was acquitted.

Both Britain and the U.S. say sanctions can only be lifted completely after Tripoli accepts total responsibility for the blast, including paying compensation to those affected.

• Libya Online

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